By Desmond Ejibas
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), on Thursday, flagged-off special operations to reduce road crashes during the yuletide season.
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, performed the flag-off of the exercise, tagged “Road Safety is a state of mind; road crashes is an absence of mind. Stay alert, stay alive.” in Port Harcourt.
Oyeyemi, represented by Kingsley Agomoh, Assistant Corps Marshal and Commanding Officer of FRSC Zone 6, described the season as a period of massive movements of persons, goods and services.
“The period has also been noted by road safety observers to record high number of road crashes, occasioned by desperate and hasty decisions by some motorists.
“Fatal road crashes are mostly caused by human error, such as making multiple hasty trips; make or break desires; unplanned journeys and social show-offs, among others.
“It is on this note that we are flagging-off this ‘ember months’ exercise to see to sharp decline of road crashes during and beyond the yuletide season,” he said.
Oyeyemi said that Nigeria had 3,200 road crashes during last year’s ‘ember months’, with 1,829 killed out of 23,679 people, while 15,501 vehicles were involved.
The corps marshal said that the road crashes and demise of passengers could have been avoided, if the right decisions had been taken.
“In Rivers State, between September and December 2018, 134 crashes were recorded, in which 59 people (49 males and 13 females) out of 912 were killed.
“This figure represents 31.4 percent increase in the road crashes and 28.3 percent increase in the number of people killed, compared with 2017,” he noted.
Also speaking, Mr David Mendie, the Rivers State FRSC Sector Commander, said that research showed that activities in the human brain reduced by 37 percent when talking while driving.
He said that drivers were 23 times more likely to crash their vehicles when they take their eyes off the road for a second.
“This can mean the difference between life and death. This is so because our state of mind influences our actions and reactions.
“Therefore, we have to be in the right state of mind before we hit the road, as driving requires 100 percent concentration,” he said.
Mendie commended the state government for donating five JAC Pick-Up patrol vehicles to the command to aid its operations.
The state Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, said that his government would continue to provide the needed support to enable security agencies carry out their mandate effectively.
Wike, who was represented by the Sole Administrator, Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Desmond Akawor, said that government was concerned with increased number of deaths on the roads.
“So going by the theme of the exercise, FRSC is giving us signal and warning by appealing to the conscience of the people to be responsible on the roads,” he said. (NAN)